One of the fun things we like to do whenever we travel anywhere as a family is to visit nearby lighthouses. We’ve visited lighthouses on the Great Lakes from Minnesota and Wisconsin to Ohio and New York, as well as lighthouses all along the northeastern coast of the Atlantic. Back when I used to collect and display breakable knick-knacks around the house (ha!), my lighthouse collection was a favorite part of our home decor. Now I keep a photo book of all the lighthouses we’ve visited and hopefully we’ll add to it through the years. Since we’re all about delight-directed learning and field trips in our homeschool, it seemed natural to make a lapbook about lighthouses. It was the perfect way to combine our interest in lighthouses with our love of lapbooking!
Lighthouse Lapbook Project
We’ve used several Project Pack lapbooks from Hands of a Child, including Butterflies, Seashells, Math Circus, Multiplication Pizza Party, Symbols of Christmas, A Devotion a Day, North America, Natural Wonders, and several more. They offer lapbooks and notepacks covering Bible, Language Arts, Geography, History, Science, Math, and so on. Every Project Pack we’ve done has been thorough and fun. This one is no exception. It covers the following topics about lighthouses:
- Parts of a Lighthouse
- Lighthouse Characteristics
- Lighthouse Keepers
- Famous Lighthouses
- Modern Lighthouses
We learned about how the Fresnel light was invented and how it works, the life of a lighthouse keeper, the structure of lighthouses, and the locations of some famous lighthouses. It’s definitely a great enrichment project for anyone planning to visit a lighthouse and take a tour for a field trip. It’s also neat to learn about how lighthouse keepers and their families once lived. Most lighthouses are automated today, unlike the days when they had to be hand-tended and cleaned by a keeper around the clock. It’s a neat bit of history to learn about these aids to navigation and how many lives were saved thanks to the lights and their keepers.
Each Project Pack begins with a Table of Contents for ease of use. They also provide a bibliography and list of additional suggested reading. We got some lighthouse books at the library to go along with our study. It took us about 3 weeks to complete the lapbook, but we took our time and didn’t work on it every single day. One of the nice things about lapbooking is that they’re flexible — you can add as much to them as you want or just use the included Research Guide as your only reading material. It’s really up to you. They estimate it will take 6 days to complete it and even include a sample schedule for you to follow so you don’t even have to plan it out yourself. Everything is there and ready to download, print, and start.
I printed out the Research Guide (the reading material portion of the Project Pack you need to complete the lapbook) and we three-hole punched it and kept it in a three-prong folder. As we cut up the lapbook pieces, we stored them in the pockets of the folder so everything was together. We then glued them into our file folders according to the outline instructions provided. It was simple to do, yet we ended up with a nice project to save and show off.
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